The mission to improve Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health’s care transitions started with a dog.
After his family dog Dutch, was hit by a car, Jay LaBine, MD, Associate CMO of Spectrum Health, took him to the local animal hospital. Before the dog was released, the veterinarian sat down with Dr. LaBine for forty-five minutes giving in-depth instructions on how to care for Dutch at home. Later that day, Dr. LaBine went to his hospital to conduct rounds.
“I literally discharged seven people in 30 minutes,” he said. “I thought to myself, ‘We’ve got a problem. We need to address these issues in a more robust, systematic way.'”
Dr. LaBine discovered the unsettling reality that a veterinarian took more time with a pet owner to explain the care expectations for a recovering dog than a physician might spend with a human patient preparing for discharge. This realization led to his partnership with Clay Richards, CEO of naviHealth, a Cardinal Health company, to better manage the care transitions at Spectrum Health. Mr. Richards and Dr. LaBine discussed the importance of effective care transitions and shared strategies to improve this process during a panel discussion at the Becker’s Hospital Review 5th Annual CEO + CFO Roundtable on Nov. 9 in Chicago.